Chapter 5501:2-8 Tourist Oriented Directional Signs - Program Rules and Regulations

5501:2-8-01 Definitions.

(A) "Advertising agreement" means a contract between the program manager and each eligible attraction participating in the tourist oriented directional signing program.

(B) "Commercial activity" means a farm market, winery, a bed and breakfast, lodging that is not a franchise or part of a national chain, antiques shop, craft store, or gift store.

(C) "Department" means the Ohio department of transportation.

(D) "Director" means the director of the Ohio department of transportation.

(E) "Eligible attraction" means any tourist oriented activity that meets all of the criteria listed in paragraph (A) of rule 5501:2-8-05 of the Administrative Code.

(F) "Expressway" means a divided highway with partial control of access.

(G) "Fee" means the amount of money assessed an eligible attraction for participation in the program.

(H) "Freeway" means a divided highway with full control of access.

(I) "Immediate area" means within ten miles of the tourist oriented activity.

(J) "Interchange" means a system of interconnecting roadways in conjunction with one or more grade separations that provides for the movement of traffic between two or more roadways or highways on different levels.

(K) "Interstate system" has the same meaning as in section 5516.01 of the Revised Code.

(L) "Intersection" means the intersection of a state or United States highway and any other dedicated public highway as found in section 4511.01 of the Revised Code.

(M) "Intersection leg" means a road leading away from or towards an intersection. They may be to the right, left, or straight ahead.

(N) "Metropolitan area" means any area inside a municipal corporation limit (city or village.).

(O) "Right-of-way permit" means a permit issued by the director, or his designee, to the program manager to occupy the highway right-of-way in or on the approaches to an intersection in accordance with the latest version of the department's standard operating procedure, PH-P-403.

(P) "Rural area" means the area outside of municipal corporation limits.

(Q) "Serviceable condition" means that a sign has not deteriorated due to loss of reflectivity, vandalism, accident, or natural disaster, to the point where the sign is unable to effectively perform its intended function. Signs with less than fifty per cent of the minimum coefficient of retroreflection requirements for new sheeting as required in the department's construction and material specifications section 730.18, reflective sheeting type F, or that are judged to provide inadequate reflectivity, or have sustained significant damage are not in serviceable condition.

(R) "Service life" means the period of time during which a sign is in serviceable condition.

(S) "Tourist oriented activity" means any lawful cultural, historical, recreational, educational, or commercial activity, a major portion of whose income or visitors are derived during the normal business season from motorists not residing in the immediate area of the activity and attendance at which is no less than two thousand in any consecutive twelve month period.

(T) "Tourist oriented directional signs" means signs conforming to the specifications contained in the federal manual on uniform traffic control devices, latest edition, and rules 5501:2-8-01 to 5501:2-8-10 of the Administrative Code for tourist oriented directional signs.

(U) "Trailblazing signs" means signs that are installed on the road leading away from an intersection directing to eligible attractions that are not visible from this road.

Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 11/13/2017 and 11/13/2022
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 4511.103
Rule Amplifies: 4511.103 , 4511.104, 4511.105, 4511.106, 4511.107
Prior Effective Dates: 05/29/1995, 11/24/1997

5501:2-8-02 Tourist oriented directional sign program.

(A) The director has determined that the tourist oriented directional sign program in Ohio, as described in sections 4511.102 to 4511.107 of the Revised Code, shall be administered by a program manager under contract to the department. Rural state highways are eligible for the program except that signs are not permitted at interchanges on freeways and expressways. For the purposes of the state program, metropolitan areas are not included.

(B) The director shall maintain oversight duties and responsibilities. The program manager shall implement and carry out the program.

(C) The procedure and/or process described in rules 5501:2-8-01 to 5501:2-8-10 of the Administrative Code is the only procedure whereby eligible attractions may have tourist oriented directional signs displayed on state highways in rural areas.

Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 11/13/2017 and 11/13/2022
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 4511.103
Rule Amplifies: 4511.106, 4511.107, 4511.102, 4511.103 , 4511.104, 4511.105
Prior Effective Dates: 05/29/1995, 11/24/1997

5501:2-8-03 Program manager.

(A) Pursuant to division (B) of section 4511.103 of the Revised Code, the methodology for selecting the program manager shall be based on criteria established by the director through an open request for proposal process. In awarding the contract, the director shall consider the skill, expertise, prior experience and other qualifications of each applicant.

(B) The program manager shall function as a fully independent contractor for the director in implementing the tourist oriented directional signing program. The program manager shall be responsible for:

(1) Marketing the program to eligible attractions,

(2) Determining the eligibility of each interested tourist oriented activity to participate in the program in accordance with rule 5501:2-8-05 of the Administrative Code,

(3) Collecting all fees associated with the program from the participating eligible attractions,

(4) Paying all expenses for the program,

(5) Contacting the Ohio utilities protection service, all utility companies, and the department for possible conflicts, and

(6) Developing, subject to the approval of the director, all forms, applications, agreements and other documents necessary for carrying out the tourist oriented directional signing program. The right-of-way permit is excluded from this provision as it is an existing document utilized by the department.

(C) The program manager shall execute advertising agreements with participating eligible attractions to establish fees and any other obligations between the parties as deemed appropriate and pursuant to rule 5501:2-8-08 of the Administrative Code.

(1) The form and content of the advertising agreement shall be approved by the director prior to use.

(2) Any modification to or special clauses in the advertising agreement shall have the approval of the director prior to use.

(D) The program manager shall have the right to earn a reasonable profit as a result of carrying out the provisions of the tourist oriented directional signing program.

(E) All actions taken by the program manager are subject to the approval of the director and pursuant to rule 5501:2-8-08 of the Administrative Code.

(F) At three year intervals, the program manager shall verify that each eligible attraction for which tourist oriented directional signs are installed, remains in compliance with all appropriate rules, regulations, agreements, laws, and any other tourist oriented directional sign requirements and shall furnish written certification of this fact to the director.

Effective: 1/29/2018
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 11/13/2017 and 01/29/2023
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 4511.103
Rule Amplifies: 4511.102, 4511.107, 4511.106, 4511.105, 4511.104, 4511.103
Prior Effective Dates: 05/29/1995, 11/24/1997

5501:2-8-04 Intersection leg eligibility.

(A) Intersection legs are eligible for the tourist oriented directional signing program if they:

(1) Are located in a rural area, and

(2) Do not meet any of the criteria for exclusion listed in paragraph (B) of this rule.

(B) Those intersection legs where tourist oriented directional signs will not be permitted are:

(1) Where minimum sign placement and spacing criteria required by the Ohio manual of uniform traffic control devices, the federal manual on uniform traffic control devices, department standard construction drawings and signing standards and guidelines for the tourist oriented directional signing program cannot be met for any reason. (Existing signs may be relocated by the program manager to achieve minimum sign placement and spacing criteria, provided such relocation does not adversely affect the safety and/or operational characteristics of the intersection as determined by the district deputy director or his designee.) or

(2) Where safety and/or operational features, as determined by the district deputy director or his designee, preclude the installation of these signs.

(C) Tourist oriented directional signs shall not be installed at interchanges on freeways or expressways.

(D) Whenever an intersection on an expressway is upgraded to an interchange, all tourist oriented directional signs located at that interchange and any associated trailblazing signs shall be removed by the program manager.

(E) When one intersection leg is ineligible for the tourist oriented directional signing program due to the criteria contained within rules 5501:2-8-01 to 5501:2-8-10 of the Administrative Code, other intersection legs at that intersection may remain eligible for the program.

Effective: 1/29/2018
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 11/13/2017 and 01/29/2023
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 4511.103
Rule Amplifies: 4511.102, 4511.107, 4511.106, 4511.105, 4511.104, 4511.103
Prior Effective Dates: 05/29/1995, 11/24/1997

5501:2-8-05 Eligible attractions.

(A) Only those tourist oriented activities located in Ohio that meet the following criteria may be considered for the tourist oriented directional signing program:

(1) Must be open to the general motoring public, and not operated on a "reservation only", "membership only", or "appointment only" basis, throughout the normal business season for that particular type tourist oriented activity.

(2) Is not eligible at that intersection for inclusion in the business logo sign program established under section 4511.101 of the Revised Code.

(3) If the tourist oriented activity offers food the following additional criteria apply:

(a) It shall not be a franchise or part of a national chain.

(b) It shall be historically significant or offer a menu or foods concentrated on, and representative of, a specific cultural or ethnic population that has a significant presence in, and is uniquely identified with, the region in which the activity is located.

(c) Serve at least two meals per day.

(d) Have all required licensing or approval.

(4) If the tourist oriented activity offers lodging the following additional criteria apply:

Have all required licensing or approval.

(5) If the tourist oriented activity offers camping the following additional criteria apply:

(a) Have all required licensing or approval.

(b) Provide adequate parking accommodations.

(c) Provide sanitary facilities and drinking water.

(B) Tourist oriented activities wishing to participate in the tourist oriented directional signing program shall apply for the program on a form provided by the program manager. If the program manager finds the application to be complete and determines that the activity constitutes an eligible attraction and that tourist oriented directional signing can be provided, the program manager shall so notify the applicant in writing. Upon receipt of the notice the applicant shall forward to the program manager the amount of the fee and thereupon shall execute an advertising agreement with the program manager.

(C) An advertising agreement executed under paragraph (B) of this rule is valid until the tourist oriented activity ceases to be an eligible attraction, unless cancelled earlier at the request of the eligible attraction or for failure to comply with rules 5501:2-8-01 to 5501:2-8-10 of the Administrative Code.

(D) Before any tourist oriented activity is permitted to participate in the tourist oriented directional signing program, any existing illegal signs pertaining to that tourist oriented activity shall be removed. The program manager shall contact the department's advertising device control section to determine the existence of illegal signs. If within fifteen days no answer is received, the program manager shall assume there are no illegal signs in place pertaining to that activity.

(E) If the intersection crossroad is not a rural state highway the program manager shall notify the appropriate governmental authority that tourist oriented directional signs will be erected directing traffic across their roadway facility. If trailblazing signs are required, the program manager shall obtain consent legislation or written permission from the appropriate local legislative body. The form, content and any modifications or special clauses to the consent legislation shall have the prior approval of the director. No consent shall be considered binding without the required approval of the director.

(F) If trailblazing signs are required for a tourist oriented activity and permission for erecting trailblazing signs cannot be obtained from the appropriate local authorities having jurisdiction, that particular activity shall not be eligible for tourist oriented directional signs at that intersection.

(G) At eligible intersection legs, if a new tourist oriented activity is established, or if a non-participating tourist oriented activity is interested in participating in the tourist oriented directional signing program, the tourist oriented activity may request to participate in the program. Additional applications will be considered in accordance with the priorities already established.

(H) If an eligible attraction for which tourist oriented directional signs are in place ceases to be an eligible attraction the signs shall be removed and participation in the program may be offered to the next closest eligible attraction.

(I) If an eligible attraction for which tourist oriented directional signs are in place is sold, the new owner(s) shall complete a program application. If the tourist oriented activity continues to be an eligible attraction the existing signs may remain in place or, if required, new signs may be installed.

The previous owners shall be reimbursed by the program manager for any prepaid fees beyond the date of the termination of their advertising agreement.

(1) New signs shall be required if the name, logo or symbol changes.

(2) A simple change of ownership does not constitute justification for erecting new signs.

(J) No eligible attraction may discriminate or be discriminated against with regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, handicap or national origin. Each eligible attraction identified by tourist oriented directional signing shall have furnished written certification to the program manager of its conformity with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, ordinances, rules and regulations, and shall not be in breach of that certification. Such certification shall be provided to the program manager before any tourist oriented directional signs for that eligible attraction are erected.

Replaces: 5501:2-8-05

Effective: 2/15/2018
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 01/29/2023
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 4511.103
Rule Amplifies: 4511.102 thru 4511.107
Prior Effective Dates: 05/29/1995, 11/24/1997, 07/22/2005

5501:2-8-06 Sign requirements.

(A) The design, arrangement, size and location of tourist oriented directional signs, including advance signs and trailblazer signs, authorized under sections 4511.102 to 4511.105 of the Revised Code shall conform to the applicable specifications contained in the federal manual on uniform traffic control devices, the Ohio manual of uniform traffic control devices and the standards and specifications for tourist oriented directional signs.

(B) Standardized symbols for food, lodging and camping, as well as recreational and/or cultural activities as found in the federal manual on uniform traffic control devices, are the only symbols that may be used on the signs in conjunction with other directional information except as provided herein. Only one symbol, one logo, or one symbol and one logo may be displayed on any one sign. If no appropriate symbol exists in the federal manual on uniform traffic control devices, the department will consider proposals for additional symbols. These proposals must come from a national trade association or similar organization. If none exists, submissions from a statewide trade association or similar organization will be considered. The department will coordinate the review of these proposals with appropriate agencies. If the department is in concurrence with a proposal, the symbol will be submitted to the federal highway administration for approval. During this federal highway administration review the symbol may be used. If the federal highway administration subsequently rejects the symbol the program manager will stop using the symbol and remove those that have been installed.

(C) Where sufficient space exists on an intersection leg for only one intersection tourist oriented directional sign assembly for tourist oriented activities in the left and right directions, participation in the program shall be offered to the four closest eligible attractions in the combined left and right directions. Where sufficient space exists on an intersection leg for two intersection sign assemblies for tourist oriented activities in the left and right directions, participation in the program shall be offered to the four closest eligible attractions in both the left and right directions. In either case, participation shall be offered to successively distant eligible attractions in the left and right directions until a maximum of four signs per sign assembly is achieved. Where sufficient space exists on an intersection leg for an intersection assembly for tourist oriented activities in the ahead direction, participation in the program shall be offered to the four closest eligible attractions meeting the requirements contained in this rule. Participation shall be offered to successively distant eligible attractions in the ahead direction meeting the requirements contained in this rule until a maximum of four signs on the assembly is achieved.

(D) Eligible attractions may qualify for tourist oriented directional signs at more than one intersection on a particular approach direction to their activity. If the installation of signs at more than one such location would prevent another eligible attraction from participating in the program, these additional signs shall not be installed.

(E) Only those eligible attractions not plainly visible to the driver proceeding on the cross road will be considered for trailblazing signs. When required, all trailblazing signs shall be erected prior to erection of the intersection signs.

(F) Signing for eligible attractions in the ahead direction shall be considered only when there is signing for a similar activity in either the right or left direction.

(G) Advance tourist oriented directional signing may be installed in those situations where sight distance, intersection vehicle maneuvers, or other vehicle operating characteristics require advance notice of an eligible attraction in order to reduce vehicle conflicts and improve highway safety, provided intersection tourist oriented directional signs are in place.

(H) When not more than four tourist oriented directional intersection signs are to be installed on an approach to an intersection, the signs may be combined on the same assembly with the left turn signs above the right turn signs. Ahead signs shall not be used in such an assembly.

(I) There may be situations where there are more than four eligible attractions desiring to participate in the program in either the left or right direction and fewer than four in the opposite direction. In these situations, one tourist oriented directional sign assembly with four signs will be installed for the direction having the most eligible attractions. The other sign assembly may indicate the additional eligible attractions in this same direction after all the eligible attractions in the opposite direction are included on this other sign assembly. Signs in the ahead direction are not permitted on these assemblies.

(J) Except for eligible attractions providing food, lodging and/or camping, if the hours of operation of an eligible attraction are different than would be reasonably expected of that particular type of attraction, the program manager may include the hours of operation on the signs for that particular eligible attraction.

(K) The program manager shall include a provision in all advertising agreements with eligible attractions involved in the program indicating that, in the event of expiration or termination of the contract with the director, the unexpired portions of such agreements shall be subject to cancellation with any unearned, prepaid charges refunded by the program manager.

(L) If at any time a tourist oriented directional sign is not in place for a period exceeding two weeks during the normal business season of the eligible attraction, the program manager shall reimburse the affected eligible attraction on a pro-rated basis. Such reimbursement shall include the initial two week period.

(M) No reimbursement shall be required to any participating eligible attraction due to road closures or detours established for any reason.

(N) An alternate tourist activities header panel, twice as high as the standard tourist activities panel, may be used to indicate the county name or other information applicable to all eligible attractions displayed on the sign assembly. All eligible attractions displayed on the assembly must agree to participate in the additional cost of this alternate header or this header will not be installed. This alternate header will not be permitted on advance signs.

Effective: 1/29/2018
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 11/13/2017 and 01/29/2023
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 4511:103
Rule Amplifies: 4511.102, 4511.107, 4511.106, 4511.105, 4511.104, 4511.103
Prior Effective Dates: 05/29/1995, 11/24/1997

5501:2-8-07 Application procedure.

(A) The program manager, in conjunction with their marketing process, shall establish an application procedure for interested tourist oriented activities. Such procedure shall be approved by the director prior to implementation.

(B) Tourist oriented activities interested in participating in the tourist oriented directional signing program shall apply directly to the program manager.

(C) The program manager shall review all applications in accordance with rules 5501:2-8-01 to 5501:2-8-10 of the Administrative Code.

(D) The program manager shall document and maintain records of all tourist oriented activities who are contacted, or who contact the program manager, regarding participation in the tourist oriented directional signing program.

Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 11/13/2017 and 11/13/2022
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 4511.103
Rule Amplifies: 4511.102, 4511.103 , 4511.104, 4511.105, 4511.106, 4511.107
Prior Effective Dates: 05/29/1995, 11/24/1997

5501:2-8-08 Fee schedule.

(A) Fees assessed to eligible attractions for participating in the tourist oriented directional signing program shall be as set forth in writing by the program manager and shall be uniform to all eligible attractions. The program manager shall not revise the fees charged to eligible attractions for participation in the tourist oriented directional signing program without prior approval of the director and promulgation of a revision to this rule. In accordance with section 4511.103 of the Revised Code, the fees shall be based on the actual cost of establishing, operating, and administering the program, including processing applications for right-of-way permits and providing necessary services for installing, maintaining, repairing, removing, and replacing signs. In addition, the fee shall include all direct and indirect costs which shall include, but not be limited to, the cost of capital, insurance, directional signs, sign supports, design, removal or relocation of other signs and off season covering.

(B) The fees shall be established on a per sign basis. The fee for intersection and/or advance signs shall be identical. The fee for trailblazing signs is in addition to the fee for intersection/advanced signs and will only be assessed those eligible attractions requiring trailblazing signs. The fee for symbols and or logos is in addition to the fee for intersection/advanced or trailblazing signs and will only be assessed to those eligible attractions requesting the display of their logo and/or symbol. The fee for the alternate header on top of the tourist oriented directional sign assembly is in addition to the fee for intersection/advanced signs and will only be assessed to those eligible attractions requesting the erection of this alternate header.

Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 11/13/2017 and 11/13/2022
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 4511.103
Rule Amplifies: 4511.102, 4511.103 , 4511.104, 4511.105, 4511.106, 4511.107
Prior Effective Dates: 05/29/1995, 11/24/1997

5501:2-8-09 Loss of eligibility.

(A) The operator of any eligible attraction for which an advertising agreement is in effect under rule 5501:2-8-05 of the Administrative Code shall immediately forward the advertising agreement to the program manager for cancellation if the eligible attraction ceases to be such an attraction.

(B) The director, when having reasonable cause to believe that an eligible attraction for which an advertising agreement is in effect has ceased to be such an attraction, shall immediately and without conducting an adjudication, issue an order canceling the advertising agreement and forward notice of the cancellation in writing to the operator of the attraction together with information that cancellation may be appealed in accordance with section 119.02 of the Revised Code and rule 5501:2-8-10 of the Administrative Code. If no appeal is entered within the time period specified in that section, or if an appeal is entered but cancellation of the advertising agreement subsequently is affirmed, the director shall order the removal of the signs relating to the former eligible attraction.

(C) The program manager, when having reasonable cause to believe that an eligible attraction for which an advertising agreement is in effect has ceased to be such an attraction, shall immediately notify the director in writing of that fact. Upon receipt of the notice, the director shall proceed in accordance with paragraph (B) of this rule.

(D) At the end of their business season, eligible attractions not open year round shall have a panel with the word "closed" placed on their sign(s) by the program manager.

(1) Eligible attractions for which no tourist oriented directional signs are displayed on an intersection leg due to insufficient space shall not have tourist oriented directional signs displayed during the off-season of an eligible attraction for which signs are displayed.

(2) It shall be the responsibility of the eligible attraction to notify the program manager to install the "closed" panel on their tourist oriented directional signs at the beginning of a closed period and to remove the panel at the beginning of the open season.

(3) If an eligible attraction is closed for more than two weeks during the normal business season, a panel with the word "closed" shall be placed on the sign(s). It shall be the responsibility of the eligible attraction to notify the program manager of any such closure.

(4) It shall be the responsibility of the program manager to monitor seasonal eligible attractions to make sure their signs are properly displayed.

(E) Once the maximum number of eligible attractions are participating in the tourist oriented directional signing program on an intersection leg and an additional eligible attraction, located closure to the intersection on the same intersection leg, enters into an advertising agreement to participate in the program, the farthest participating eligible attraction will no longer qualify for tourist oriented directional signs on that intersection leg. The tourist oriented directional sign panel for this eligible attraction shall be removed only after it has been displayed for not less than two years from the date of initial installation.

(F) For those situations described in paragraph (I) of rule 5501:2-8-06 of the Administrative Code, the following applies until the approach has four attractions signed in the given direction. If a new eligible attraction is developed in the direction with the fewest existing eligible attractions, or a non-participating tourist oriented activity applies for the program and is determined to be an eligible attraction, this new eligible attraction shall be displayed on the appropriate sign assembly by replacing the farthest eligible attraction in the opposite direction. The eligible attraction in the opposite direction that is the farthest from the intersection shall have its tourist oriented directional sign removed only after it has been displayed for not less than two years from the date of initial installation.

Effective: 1/29/2018
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 11/13/2017 and 01/29/2023
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 4511.103
Rule Amplifies: 4511.102, 4511.107, 4511.106, 4511.105, 4511.104, 4511.103
Prior Effective Dates: 05/29/1995, 11/24/1997

5501:2-8-10 Appeals.

Appeals of any action taken under rules 5501:2-8-01 to 5501:2-8-10 of the Administrative Code shall be in accordance with the provisions of sections 119.06 to 119.13 of the Revised Code.

Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 11/13/2017 and 11/13/2022
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 4511.103
Rule Amplifies: 4511.102, 4511.103 , 4511.104, 4511.105, 4511.106, 4511.107
Prior Effective Dates: 05/29/1995